Illusion, an Initiation

An illusion is "an erroneous perception of reality, an erroneous concept or belief, the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief, something, such as a fantastic plan or desire, that causes an erroneous belief or perception." To illude is "to trick or to delude."

Illusion is always founded on a fact, which is then distorted to fit a perversion of truth. Illusion is an initiation in perception of the difference between the truth of appearances — often an illusion — and the truth of reality. Illusion is the misrepresentation of reality by individuals or personalities.

Edna Lister on Illusion

Leave all others free to believe whatever will 'o the wisp illusion they choose to chase. Follow the Light of truth into all healing. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924.

If you keep your eye on the illusions of this world of appearances, you receive rebukes that signal your failures in discernment. – Edna Lister, Command Ye Me, January 16, 1935.

Darkness grows by dividing the truth of Light into plausible part-truths, perverted weapons designed to deceive the very Elect, those who do not have their eyes on God. Being deceived, such souls then fall prey to the illusion of a lie masquerading as the truth of Light. Then they blame the soul who makes them see the truth. – Edna Lister, The Third Degree, March 30, 1935.

Absolute reality eternally, accurately and completely expresses God's ideas, whereas a temporary, imperfect reality may misrepresent God's ideas. Unseen absolute reality exists before illusion or seen unreality appears, therefore illusion is subject to the principles of absolute reality.

Illusion deceives the bodily eye by false or unreal appearances or the mental eye by false prospects or statements, by deception or delusion. An illusion deceives or deludes by producing a false impression. Illusion is the misrepresentation of reality by individuals or personalities.

Spiritual substance is absolute and eternal. God as spiritual substance is "deathless, ageless and abiding." Material substance is subject to temporal relativity, therefore physical matter is relative, limited and only temporarily real. We may think about spiritual substance as the "truth of reality," whereas we may understand material substance only as the "truth of appearance." – Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

The truth will seem an illusion to those with no spiritual understanding. – Edna Lister, February 25, 1941.

Standing nobly and serenely upon the truth, being steadfast to establish truth can harm no one, but only draw others to itself from the deep shadows in the vale of illusion. – Edna Lister, March 3, 1942.

You must test your intuition or impulses to action. If you have a flash of vision, immediately go to the Mercy Seat and ask the Father if it signals "yes." He sends you back, usually several times to check that it is no illusion. You will see pictures and be asked from what realm they come. If you proceed without a clear "green light," soul vision fades behind the veil of self you are choosing instead. – Edna Lister, April 3, 1942.

Seek confirmation of your soul vision. Make certain that selfish desires do not color your seeing and hearing, for self-delusion leads straightway into the vale of illusion from which you do not emerge easily or soon. Once within, you follow paths through mazes. There is no turning back, only following each path to its final and often bitter end. This is a sad way of great delay. Therefore, it is much better to seek confirmation first, even if you find you are under self-delusion. Learning to know the true way is better than to enter the long path through the vale of tears. – Edna Lister, November 5, 1942.

Verify your spiritual hearing and seeing by checking with another seer. Truth is truth and the same to all souls everywhere. Thus you save yourself from wandering off into the vale of illusion, which is destruction to a mediator's soul faculties. – Edna Lister, October 9, 1944.

"Wait upon the Lord" in learning law to equal the great gifts of full spiritual seeing and hearing. You must be able to discriminate between your imagination creating illusions, replaying past records, instant knowledge of a strange alien vibration seeking to break through, and actually seeing the form of an agent of God as well as hearing the voice. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1944.

A mediator must be so trained in law to be able to discriminate, and use discretion to be able to discern the difference between self-created delusion, illusion, imagination, the vibration of the Sons of God, or illusions created by those bodiless ones still roaming, seeking a resting place for their false work. – Edna Lister, October 25, 1944.

Force not, lest you enter vales of illusion in all innocence. To go slowly, step by step, and to awaken the mediator's great soul powers gradually is best. – Edna Lister, October 26, 1944.

On earth, you are only as great as the extent of your ability always to be completely surrendered in obedience to God's law. Obeying law is best, even if you see nothing. Release of the power of love, which cannot harm or mislead anyone. – Edna Lister, October 27, 1944.

Automatic writing is open to self-delusion, self-seeking, self-desire to be great before others, and illusion. You may pick up and rehash the records of words spoken in the past. Automatic writing opens a direct line to tricksters, who delight in mischief, and to downright deceivers floating near earth. – Edna Lister, October 30, 1944.

When you are blinded by selfish desires, you are really blind to the difference between truth and illusion. Illusion is always founded on a fact, which is then distorted to fit some perversion of truth. – Edna Lister, February 22, 1945.

Your delusions of the truth are the source of your soul's shame and humiliation. You wear these delusions as filthy ragged robes, which diminish your soul's capacity to release Light on earth. Then you are ashamed to approach the Father's throne in the bliss of atonement. – Edna Lister, April 29, 1948.

If you try to put someone in emotional bondage, the veils of illusion descend on you as doubt, fear, and conflicted emotions. – Edna Lister, The Twelve Tribes, June 22, 1948.

It is necessary to experience the vale of illusion or valley of grief at some point in your ascension career; otherwise, you might not express the necessary degree of compassion. – Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, June 24, 1951.

The seat of self delusion is fragile, and soon breaks, causing the one so seated to fall. – Edna Lister, June 25, 1951.

You may have looked for something that is right before your eyes, but was invisible because you wear the blinders of self, the veils of illusion, which delude vision. You must see past the illusion. – Edna Lister, The Flaming Sword, July 29, 1951.

Search for hidden self within even your best motives. Make certain there is no self-delusion remaining to spread again in subtle ways. – Edna Lister, April 10, 1952.

Often you may see a short preview for lifting. Always close out this preview immediately, unless it is for now. Otherwise, you may get involved in nebulous future possibilities, until you neutralize your present ability to serve. You must be free of heart and mind to act as if the present situation were the final perfect thing, or you could never free your soul. You waste your present by holding this short glimpse open, which then becomes snooping, and leads to confusion, illusion and worse. – Edna Lister, September 18, 1952.

You may not hide things from yourself or use treachery under self-delusion. You may not evade issues or tell tales under self-delusion. You are become of the truth and only the truth shall set you free from the wages of sin, which is the death of soul. – Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Illusions are imaginary, but seem real to the one who is having them. – Edna Lister, Five Categories of Expression, November 19, 1957.

Each, through tears of mourning, creates his own veil in the valley of illusion. – Edna Lister, August 28, 1958.

Every time you lift the curtain on your unlovely and unloving intentions and motivations, you lift the veil of illusion from self and open the way to soul illumination. – Edna Lister, October 9, 1958.

When the faculties of wisdom and love do not open in balance, the rational and appetitive phases of soul are erratic in judgment and emotions. You must develop wisdom to contact divine Mind. When you open only the love faculty, you live by emotions, dreams and slide into illusion, unbalanced by wisdom. – Edna Lister, October 3, 1960.

People must be disillusioned by prayer, not talk. – Edna Lister, March 16, 1962.

As a creator god, you could not originally descend until your soul's sheath became heavier. As you descend and become relative, you must leave behind a veil, composed of substance at a particular rate of vibration on every level. These veils of illusion, dense and difficult to penetrate, close your memory of your divine past. Thus, you must ascend to cleanse taints of self, which aids in consuming the veils of illusion. To do this, you must wash your memory records white as snow. You cannot remove a veil without successfully completing your initiations. – Edna Lister, God as Personality, Seven Stages of Descent, November 12, 1963.

The seer sees, the prophet hears, then speaks what he hears. Check whatever you see and hear with another seer, because this is always a danger point of illusion and delusion. – Edna Lister, You Are a Seer and a Prophet, December 17, 1963.

"Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." – Hebrews 5:12-14.

Danger lies in confusing plain earthy imagination with spiritual seeing. When using outer intellectual imagination, it's easy to fall into illusion, seeing figments of imagination, or into delusion, exaggerating ideas, doubts and images already in your mind. When you turn imagination up into the Light, using the eyes of the mind, it becomes soul vision. An oracle's vision is compounded of both spiritual seeing and hearing, balanced through soul knowing. – Edna Lister, The Oracle Speaks, June 27, 1965.

An illusion is always based on a misinterpreted fact. – Edna Lister, November 7, 1967.

A mirage is an illusion in the second degree of substance of which dreams are made, the grade of substance in which we see spiritually. – Edna Lister, December 7, 1967.

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Treatment for Illusions

"Name, you are free of illusion. You are no longer gullible. You are free to see with the eyes of God." Or declare, "I am free of illusion. I am no longer gullible. I am free to see with the eyes of God." – Edna Lister, December 14, 1959.

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The Cost of Burning the Veil

This Linda Mihalic Pentecost Sunday sermon transcript is dated June 9, 2019, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Luke 14:26-33 and 2 Corinthians 3.

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple." – Luke 14:26-33.

"Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech — unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." – 2 Corinthians 3

Seven veils of illusion blind the self to what the soul knows. An illusion is "a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience; a deceptive appearance or impression; a false idea or belief." To create an illusion is to illude, "to trick or to delude."

Edna Lister said, "Illusion is always founded on a fact one distorts to hide some perversion of truth. Illusion is an initiation in perception of the difference between the truth of appearances and the truth of reality. Illusion is the misrepresentation of reality by persons and personalities."

As a soul, you accrue illusions over time, in this case a long time, often spanning several lifetimes. Unless you continuously struggle to overcome illusions, they thicken, forming layers that obscure reality until your soul beholds the truth as merely a dream, or a nightmare. How did this happen originally? Genesis 2:21 states that "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept." Qabalist Carlos Suares noted that nowhere later in scripture does it say that man ever awakened, implying that we are still asleep in some degree.

The author of the Letter to Ephesians wrote in the fifth chapter, "Let no man deceive you with vain words … ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. … all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." – Ephesians 5:8-14.

From this passage, we can see that being asleep is equal to being dead. This topic is difficult to understand without a background in scriptural metaphor and symbolism, so let us examine it further. Being asleep describes a level of consciousness either above or below the level that we call being awake. Dead in this case is being dead in Spirit, which is being unaware of the soul's life in and through God.

The first veil of illusion blinds us as we enter a life such as the one we are living right now. The soul falls asleep when it enters the physical body because it instantly becomes lost in and vulnerable to the physical effects of blood chemistry. "The life of the flesh is in the blood," God said, "and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." – Leviticus 17:11. The life in the blood is complex; it includes more than water, red and white blood cells, platelets, clotting factors, sugars, fats, vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins. Blood is the substrate that the Light uses to bind the body and soul together as one with God.

The brain is your soul's physical interface with the body, the waking consciousness, the three levels of the subconscious, the conscious and the super-conscious phases of your contact with divine Mind, the mind that was in Christ Jesus. The blood brain barrier, called the BBB, is a semipermeable membrane (a veil) that protects the brain from the effects of the body chemistry. Several factors can put the BBB at risk, including high blood pressure, high amounts of drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream, microwaves (including cell phones), radiation exposure, infection, inflammation, and injury. When the brain's integrity is compromised, the soul cannot properly maintain its connection with the body or commune with divine Mind through the super-conscious mind.

This describes the first veil of illusion that interferes with your soul's ascension of consciousness, the veil of the Neophyte. While it is physical in construction, you also experience its effects emotionally and mentally. The veils of illusion are the sources of all varieties of misperception, cognitive distortions, and every form of so-called mental illness. Your body chemistry does not cause these illusions and mental illnesses; you accept and permit the illusions that create deeper, heavier illusions. Pay attention to this: No soul is or can be the victim of his or her blood chemistry, but the illusions that the soul fosters create the mental-emotional distortions.

The second veil of illusion emerges two ways during the first seven years of an earth life. First, most illusions are hangovers from previous existences, meaning that you bring them with you. Second, the conditions surrounding your birth or adoption into a family are profound in their influence. The patterns for your personality, your belief in your own nature and worth, your personal identity and self-perceptions are set during the first seven years of life. This is the veil of the Disciple Degree, aptly named because during this period the soul is always following instructions from one source or another, parents, older siblings or teachers.

Think back; how old were you at the time of your first vivid memory? Is your memory from that point clear and detailed, or vague and spotty, like the after-image of a strobe light? Are most of your memories pleasant and good, or unpleasant, even frightening? Do you remember being praised or scolded most often? Did you love and feel loved by your parents, or did you often fear them, and feel desperate that you were not good enough to win their love and hold it? Do you think of yourself as being a good child, or as being a burden and a problem.

All these and many more conditions are the bricks and mortar of your self-perceptions and your judgments of yourself. You probably still hold to this personal identity today. Consciousness is a messy topic, so broadly defined that it defies clarity. Further, every field of inquiry has evolved its own definition, based on some scientific materialism, or some abstract idealism. Science is a Latin term, meaning "knowledge," but science today is merely systematic; it builds and organizes knowledge, accepting as valid only those explanations and predictions that can be tested and replicated in a laboratory. Scientific materialism is the source of agnosticism and atheism because if you believe only in materialism but nothing transcendental, you do not need a God. You may worship self unchallenged.

Immanuel Kant defined transcendental idealism in abstract metaphysical terms, as the belief that reality is made up of ideas, each of which is the true pattern of a single component, some virtue of the good. This definition stems from Plato's idealism, which describes a life spent in the pursuit of the ideal, the perfect state of truth, purity, justice, and the good. Idealism holds that the soul knows all elements of the good are facets of God.

The soul remembers everything, every word heard or spoken, every act, every experience – and it does so faultlessly. A Greek myth reveals the crucial detail that the soul drinks of the Cup of Lethe in the anteroom of birth into earth life, and that dark wine is lethal to the soul's memory of truth. The only way to access the soul's memory is to awaken from sleep, which is the world's truth of appearances, and to awaken into conscious recollection of the truth of reality. The embodied soul attains conscious recollection by burning the veils of illusion.

The embodied soul has already achieved some degree of self-consciousness when the child begins kindergarten at age five or six, earlier if he has older siblings or was enrolled in preschool. So, his degree of socialization accelerates his development. The child has no control over the input he receives up to then, whether social, moral, emotional, or mental. Every experience leaves a stamp on his psyche. Any parent can easily detect the onset of self-awareness as the point at which their child first learned the meaning of and began saying or shrieking the simple words yes and no. Yes means "I accept," but no means "I refuse."

The third veil, that of the Adept Degree, has no set time of onset, but in most cases is present from birth. In fact, few souls among earth's teeming billions have ever progressed beyond this third degree. The first two veils generally form the illusions of this particular life, and set the pattern for the soul's needed lessons during this life. The details backing this pattern are known only to God, His Heavenly Councils, the Oversoul, and the embodied soul's personal sponsors above. In other words, you take life's initiations blind, proving the wisdom of the law that "A virtue untried is no virtue at all."

The veil of the Adept Degree is the aggregate of his misperceptions of reality and what he identifies with personally, including his moral values and the ethical code by which he lives. An old proverb, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree," holds the promise of the soul's full recollection of truth through obedience to law as learned during the earliest years of each life. If the parents fail in their duty (a sad condition in earth life), the soul will have to overcome deeper sleep, greater spiritual blindness, and a heavier weight of soul debts throughout life. Make no mistake: Such challenges are not punishment but necessary steps to strengthen the soul into the ideal of its own degree and kind.

In the work of soul conquering self, you learn that your soul's identity begins and ends in God, the Source of all life. God is the source of your being, your nature, your essence; His laws direct and control all your actions, speech, and thoughts when you let them do so. If you are just along for the ride, letting life's breezes waft you from here to there, you may be sure that life's storms will drive you from one imagined "safe haven" after another until you choose the right course. Desire is always and eternally the first step, and you must first amalgamate all your lesser disparate desires into a single unified desire to serve God in obedience to His laws, and to practice His way of loving with perfect compassion. Otherwise, you can never forge your perfect weapon of the soul, the sword of truth ever-ready to sever truth from the illusion of appearances.

The veil of the Adept is particularly hard to pierce because while its vertical warp threads are the thousand strands of Light that bind your soul to God, its horizontal weft includes every real or imagined tie that still binds you to earth, including your illusions, desires, appetites, and soul debts. It's like making a magical flying carpet to take you home to God. If you fail to keep the vertical warp threads anchored straight and taut in the Father, then the crosswise weft threads that you weave through the warp will result in a misshapen lumpy mess. You can never destroy your lines of Light to the Father, but your poor choices can wreck the beautiful design you originally desired to create. This metaphor also describes how you create your soul's prayer shawl, your talis, the mesh of Light.

No matter how far you climb, you are always working on all seven degrees at once, which means you must make sure you do not allow self to recreate any old veil. Wield your sword of truth with a deft, light touch to sever the negative ties that bind without damaging your silver cord of 1,000 lines of Light.

The fourth veil of illusion deals with the Degree of the Mystic and your prayer life, which is really your whole life, because it includes speech, idle words, tones of voice, the amount of force you use when speaking, and the accuracy of your words. Every word you speak is how you use, misuse, or abuse the Power of the spoken Word, the greatest of the gifts God has given you. The words you speak release Power, and that Power will either build and heal or tear down and destroy. One of Edna Lister's greatest works on the power of prayer and its power in your life is the text of God as Consciousness Appears as Form. Read it regularly.

The fifth veil is illusion is composed of all the self-expressions that you have not yet mastered. As a Master you are responsible for everything and everyone around you, every soul with whom you have had contact, from the beginning of time. If you make an effort and fail, you think, "Well, that didn't work!" and you may promise, "I'll do better the next time." True mastery is cleaning up every mess you have made or participated in creating, with no excuses. Every "that" that did not work is both an idea and an action for which you remain responsible until you return the whole of it, substance and vibration, to the Light. Responsibility has no end, no conclusion except the Light.

The sixth veil of illusion includes every form of service you have given or failed to give as a dedicated servant of God's Light and law. This represents the Degree of the Priest who chooses to serve faithfully under any and all conditions for however long it takes to finish the task. Every time you hear yourself whine about how long this task is taking to do, you have uncovered another illusion about the relative value of your time and effort in contrast to God's eternity and omnipotence. Self can never win this game, but soul can grow in poise, patience, and strength in the release of Power. Brother Lawrence left us with a compilation of his life's lessons on becoming aware of the presence of God in his life. His great secret to success was constantly to be aware that everything he said or did was to God's glory, or not.

It will come as no surprise that the seventh veil of illusion consists of all the leftover odds and ends, the niggling irritants that you did not lift and redeem elsewhere. This veil represents the Christos Degree where you learn that there is no small thing, everything is a detail; yes, this law does mean you, no exceptions will be made, and so on and so on. Every time you make a soul inventory of remaining self you are thinning this veil. Its effect is pervasive and all-encompassing. Every time you turn around, you meet it again until all your refusals, protests, and resistance fades into one great "Yes, Father, I shall do whatever You desire me to do."

So now it seems as though we have reached the end, but that's only a another illusion. Plato tells us that Socrates highly valued the Delphic maxim, "Know thyself," and said that "The unexamined life is not worth living." Plato records another enigmatic statement, too: "Let no one ignorant of geometry come under my roof."

The following excerpts from Plato's dialogue, the Philebus, shed great Light on our topic: "We say that the one and many become identified by thought, and that now, as in time past, they run about together, in and out of every word which is uttered, and that this union of them will never cease, and is not now beginning, but is, as I believe, an everlasting quality of thought itself, which never grows old."

We are seeking wisdom, which is greater than mere knowledge or opinion or prejudice: "Whatever things are said to be are composed of one and many, and have the finite and infinite implanted in them: seeing, then, that such is the order of the world, we too ought in every enquiry to begin by laying down one idea of that which is the subject of enquiry; this unity we shall find in everything."

"The sound which passes through the lips … is one yet infinite. … When you have learned what sounds are high and what low, the number and nature of the intervals and their limits or proportions, and the systems compounded out of them, which our fathers discovered, and have handed down to us … under the name of harmonies; and their correspondences in the movements of the human body, which when measured by numbers ought … to be called rhythms and measures … when you have learned all this, then you are perfect; and you may be said to understand any other subject, when you have a similar grasp of it. But the infinity of kinds and of individuals in each of them, when not classified, creates … a state of infinite ignorance" [paraphrased].

Finally, "I do not mean by beauty of form such beauty as that of animals or pictures, which the many would suppose to be my meaning; but … understand me to mean straight lines and circles, and the plane or solid figures which are formed out of them by turning-lathes and rulers and measurers of angles; for these I affirm to be not only relatively beautiful, like other things, but they are eternally and absolutely beautiful."

Every veil includes all seven veils of illusion, and you face them 7 x 7 = 49, which when added together = 13, the number of the Christ. Of the 13, the 1 + 3 = 4, and four symbolizes one face of a square cube, the base of a pyramid, the bounded plane of service, or a servant's sphere of influence. We speak of fourfold man as the expression of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions.

Pythagoras (Plato's theoretical teacher) taught us that the diagonal of a square inscribed within a circle equals the circle's diameter. Consider a cube encased within a sphere. The veils of illusion may be parted by comprehension of the mysteries involved with their numbers, which both conceal and reveal them.

Today we have been conducted to the Gates of God's Eternal Mysteries by His Begotten Son, who is the Word of all Power as Light. Ponder the meaning of the verses from Luke 14, remembering that 14 is the number that signifies choice and separation:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'? … So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple."

Our Lord Jesus enumerates the categories of illusions and their sources, which you must overcome to build your high tower of refuge in the love and wisdom of God. To begin, you must tear down your old worn-out tower of Babel. Gather all those illusions into a pyre of self and burn them with the Fire of God's Eternal Love.

In conclusion, remember that Jesus used Paul to write the letters to the early churches. Each of us has our own particular collection of character flaws and soul taints to use as fuel to this Pentecostal Fire of Love. These scriptures are part of an instruction manual, quick reference "How-to-DO-It" guides for the soul!

We are the leaders of God's Elect, elected because we have chosen to serve Him. We are the officers of the Legions of the Lamb, who has redeemed us "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" to be his royal priesthood. As a summer study, read the Book of the Revelation, especially chapters 5, 7, 13 and 20.

We are in the midst of the Armageddon; the battle lines are drawn and the legions of the damned stand in array against us, we who are the Legions of Light. Satan, the Adversary, has been freed for decades now, and as the Revelation (20:8-9) says, he has gone out "to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Gog and Magog embody the evil of the tribes of Ishmael and the inhabitants of Sodom and of Gomorrah, together with every sin and perversion they represent.

As a leader among the Elect your every thought and action carries the Power to affect tens of thousands for the good or the not-good. Every veil you burn in the Pentecostal Fire of Love lightens the burden for earth and its billions. Your conquering of self strengthens others, lifts their hearts, and encourages them to do the same. Together we can help to lead the millions, the billions to the Light in the Valley of Decision. This is our work program for the summer to come. Join me and let us finish the Armageddon quickly!

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New Testament on Illusion

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.Ye shall know them by their fruits. – Matthew 7:15-6.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. – Matthew 13:22.

If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. – Matthew 15:14.

That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man. – Mark 7:20-23.

Take heed lest any man deceive you. … For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. – Mark 13:5, 22.

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true … But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. – John 5:31,36.

If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. – John 9:41.

Their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. – 2 Corinthians 3:14-16. [When you turn to the Lord, the veil is removed from your soul vision.]

Appearances can be deceiving: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit [sophistry], after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. – 1 Peter 2:1-2.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. – 1 Peter 2:21-23.

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts [in God, not in the world of appearances]. – James 5:8.

He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. – 1 John 2:11.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. – 1 John 4:1-3.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of illusion: Latin, "a mocking, irony," from illusus, past participle of illudere, "to mock."

Illusion is an initiation

A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow –
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand –
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep – while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
– Edgar Allan Poe


Poe, Edgar Allan. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Random House, Inc., Modern Library edition, 1938, p. 967. This work is in the public domain.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

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